Thumbs down to more Milwaukee Street bridge delays. Maybe the delay is nobody's fault (except Mother Nature's), but it's still frustrating to see businesses along Milwaukee Street suffer because of the drawn-out bridge construction. It should have been finished, but heavy rains and high Rock River levels slowed the work. The bridge contractor, Westbrook Engineers, now says bridge completion won't happen until Oct. 24. Interestingly, Public Works Director Paul Woodard said he "disagrees" with the new timeline and wants the bridge finished earlier. "They should find out some way to get this done sooner," he said. We agree.
Thumbs up to the first of the first responders. We often think of first responders as professionals whose job it is to save lives. But two recent events are a reminder that anyone at any time can become a first responder. In the town of Fulton on July 5, two women saw a home burning and honked their car's horn to get the attention of a family sleeping inside. Meanwhile, two off-duty law enforcement officers heard the honking and ran to the scene. They forced their way into the home and helped evacuate five people and two dogs. In Janesville two days later, police officers worked to save an 8-year-old boy who had fallen into the Rock River. They called to a man, Ken Gifford, in a nearby fishing boat for help. Together, the group lifted the boy to safety. Professionals or not, these first responders saved lives, and for that, we're grateful.
Thumbs up to Paul Ryan speaking out. The former House speaker and Janesville native has finally said what we all suspected he thought about President Trump. “We’ve gotten so numbed by it all," Ryan told author Tim Alberta for his new book, "American Carnage." "Not in government, but where we live our lives, we have a responsibility to try and rebuild. Don’t call a woman a ‘horse face.’ Don’t cheat on your wife. Don’t cheat on anything. Be a good person. Set a good example.” The Beltway seems to be in disbelief that Ryan would speak so candidly about a man many Republicans are afraid to criticize. A Washington Post piece posed the question last week, "What does Paul Ryan get out of speaking against Trump now?" Well, maybe he gets nearly nothing out it. Maybe Ryan, finally freed from the shackles of office, is simply speaking his mind. If so, good for him.
Thumbs down to traveling through flooded streets. Several drivers seemed to think little about driving through flooded streets after heavy rains July 5. The Gazette published a photo Saturday of a pickup truck stalled out while attempting to navigate a flooded portion of Kennedy Road at Milton Avenue. Traveling through flood waters is a risky bet because their depth can be difficult to gauge and can quickly change. Furthermore, flooding can cause serious damage to a vehicle's engine and electrical system. The wise choice is to take a longer route if necessary and drive around flooded streets. Better yet, don't travel at all during torrential rains like we had July 5.